Stanley Cup finalist reveals the real reasons why he didn't want to play in Toronto, or Canada in general

Mike Armenti
August 8, 2023  (1:47 PM)

Radko Gudas shocked a lot of people this summer when he signed a multi-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks. Gudas had just gone on a deep playoff run with the Florida Panthers, making an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. Getting as close as he did to hockey's greatest prize, one would have assumed that winning would be at the top of his list of priorities and that signing with a contender would have been important to him this summer. Well, most of us thought wrong.

Per a recent report, several Canadian teams are believed to have presented Gudas and his camp with offers in free agency. This included the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. However, Gudas admitted recently that he wasn't overly interested in playing in Canada due to all of the added media attention.
In an interview with iSport this week, Gudas elaborated on those comments and on his decision to exclude Canadian teams from his wish list, revealing that the media wasn't the only reason he was as turned off by the thought of playing in Canada for the next few seasons. The veteran defenseman stated that taxes in Canada played an enormous role in his not wanting to play north of the border.
"In Canada, you also start with taxes at more than fifty percent. You can't say that California is different in this regard. It has thirteen percent higher taxes than Florida"

The taxes weren't the only factor here, though, as Gudas shared that he had a strong desire to play in a warmer climate. He also liked the role that he will have the opportunity to be cast in in Anaheim.
"When I had the choice between Calgary, Edmonton and a team somewhere warm, Anaheim appealed to me more. But it wasn't about the weather, it was more about the role in the team, what they would want from me, and of course the financial side."

Toronto appears to have been the lowest on his list of NHL cities in consideration. He made no mention of the Leafs, only the Oilers and Flames in relation to climate and role considerations. The Leafs, playing in such a high-profile market, were likely eliminated from the race almost immediately, even before climate and role were discussed.
At any rate, the Leafs will now have to look elsewhere to find a physical, hard-hitting defenseman.
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Stanley Cup finalist reveals the real reasons why he didn't want to play in Toronto, or Canada in general

Would you have liked to have seen Gudas sign in Toronto this summer?

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